Hyderabad: City’s 15-year-old Kushagra Mohan has added another feather to his cap by winning the team gold in the 10th Asia Pacific Youth Games at Vladivostok in Russia. The young talent was part of four-member Indian team that won the honours after topping the event with a unbeaten run.
The Hyderabad lad is happy to bag the top honours. Despite good results here, Kushagara is eyeing the IM norm as early as possible. “I am happy that we won the gold. The competition was not tough. India were top seeded and we performed to our expectations,” said the Class X student of Hyderabad Public School.
Kushagra, who is in the Indian camp in New Delhi, now has 2309 points and is eager to break the 2400 rating points to achieve his IM norms. However, unlike other chess players, his financial constraints do not allow him to travel abroad and play top players. With limited chances, he is working hard to achieve his dream.
The teenager, who started playing chess at a very young age of five because of her sister, got serious in the game at the age of seven. He first trained with coach Kandaswamy for two years. He then moved to Khan for another two years before shifting to Narasimha Rao for three years. He started achieving good results from 2012, once he moved to train under noted coach Rama Raju at RACE academy. He first won his international medal in the Asian Youth games in under-10 in 2013 in Iran where he bagged a bronze. A year later, he made that into a silver at the same games in Uzbekistan in the under-14 category. His third medal came in the year 2018, a bronze, in Thailand.
He has quit the RACE academy three years ago citing that the training has become expensive. “So I started training on my own since three years,” said Kushagra. His father, Rajesh Mohan runs a sports shop in Abids but since two years, he dedicated his time to Kushagra taking him to tournaments around the country. He will next compete in the World Youth Games scheduled to be held in Mumbai in October.